What we do
The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure is an Intermediate Body for project development and implementation under Thematic objective 7 – Connectivity and Mobility of the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Cohesion” (OPCC), one of the key programmes enabling EU funding of transport infrastructure investments.
The function of the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure is the preparation of projects in each transport sector: rail, road, maritime, inland waterways and aviation, and the preparation of development projects in the segment of urban-suburban, public and integrated transport systems, in accordance with the strategic goals of the EU’s transport policy.
In addition to activities related to the implementation of the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Cohesion”, the Directorate for EU Funds and Strategic Planning of the Ministry is responsible for the coordination and management of the Connecting Europe Facility – CEF. CEF is a funding instrument established to provide additional investments in the construction of new and improvement of existing transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure, which Member States can use, along with the existing Structural Fund and the Cohesion Fund, to finance projects on the nine core network corridors of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
In addition to the aforementioned functions, the Directorate for EU Funds and Strategic Planning carries out activities related to the completed Operational Programme “Transport” 2007-2013, as the Managing Authority. Considering that the operational programme is undergoing closure, current activities involve controlling the end of the programming period and the implementation of projects, some of which have been carried over into the subsequent programming period.
Operational programme competitiveness and cohesion 2014 – 2020
The main focus is investment in transport infrastructure needed for a modern, competitive and interconnected European economy, which means the development of projects to facilitate the movement of goods and people, not only throughout Croatia but also to other parts of Europe, and improving accessibility of cities and isolated areas to functional regional centers and strengthening territorial cohesion.
The objectives of transport development defined in the OPCC reflect the policy of the EU and the national policy with regards to transport. They underscore integration across modes of transport , i.e. co-modality, structural changes enabling effective competitiveness of rail for medium and long range passenger and freight transport, mobilization of the underutilized potential of inland waterways and environmentally friendly urban transport. Therefore, the focus should be on the ‘core’ network of corridors that would guarantee efficient multimodal connectivity and added value at the European level.
The OPCC priority axis regarding transport in the period 2014-2020 indicates a continued effort in implementing strategic objectives, modernization of railway infrastructure and inland waterway systems, defined in the Operational Programme “Transport” for the period 2007-2013, while ensuring consistency and compliance with funding from EU funds in the transport sector in Croatia so far.
- Increase the degree of use and relevance of the railway network (Cohesion Fund)
- Improve the TEN-T road network and access to the TEN-T road network (ERDF)
- Increase the number of passengers transported by urban public transport (Cohesion Fund)
- Improve accessibility of Dubrovnik by air (Cohesion Fund)
- Improve accessibility of inhabited islands to residents (Cohesion Fund)
- Improve road safety in parts with high level of mixed traffic (ERDF)
- Increase the volume of freight traffic on inland waterways (Cohesion Fund)
Accordingly, the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, which acts as the Intermediate Body for the transport sector, prepares projects from all transport sectors: rail, road, maritime, inland waterways and aviation, but for the first time, in line with the strategic objectives of EU transport policy, great attention is paid to development projects in the segment of urban-suburban, public and integrated transport systems.
In the period 2014-2020 EUR 1.210 billion has been made available for transport projects, of which EUR 400 million from the European Regional Development Fund and just over EUR 810 million from the Cohesion Fund.
EUR 400 million from the European Regional Development Fund is intended for projects in the transport sector:
- EUR 330 million to connect the TEN-T road network and access to the TEN-T network
- EUR 70 million for traffic safety
EUR 810 million from the Cohesion Fund is intended for:
- EUR 490 million for rail transport
- EUR 100 million for Dubrovnik Airport
- EUR 100 million for urban-suburban transport (urban / regional mobility)
- EUR 80 million for maritime (connecting islands with the mainland)
- EUR 40 million for inland navigation
In total, 59 contracts have been signed, with a combined value of EUR 1.6 billion, of which EUR 1.39 billion in non-refundable EU funding.
Connecting Europe Facility – CEF
Connecting Europe Facility is a financial instrument established for additional investments in the construction of new and improvement of existing transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure, which Member States can use, in addition to the existing Structural and Cohesion Funds, to finance projects on nine corridors of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
It aims to help create interconnected, high-performance, environmentally sustainable networks across Europe, which will contribute to economic growth, social and territorial cohesion within the European Union.
The total CEF funding for transport for the period 2014-2020 is EUR 26 billion, which is three times more than the EUR 8 billion available for the period 2007-2013, and is a part of the most thorough reform of EU policy for transport since its inception in the 1980s.
The new core network that is to be established by 2030 will connect:
- 94 major European ports by rail and road
- 38 key airports by rail to major cities
- 15 thousand kilometres of high-speed, modernized railways
- 35 cross-border projects aimed to reduce bottlenecks
In the transport sector, the emphasis is on:
- Removing bottlenecks and connecting missing links
- Ensuring sustainable and efficient transport systems in the long term
- Improving the integration and connection of different transport branches and increasing interoperability
The first call for CEF was announced by the European Commission on 12 September 2014 and called on the Member States to propose projects to improve transport connections in Europe, for which EUR 11.9 billion has been secured. This is the highest individual amount of funds intended for transport infrastructure so far, which is provided through the CEF, and all EU member states, international organizations, research centres, local and regional authorities, etc. can apply.